|It was in September 1996 that history was made at Ascot. Frankie Dettori managed the feat of winning all seven races on the programme 26 years ago. While Zac Purton did not completely "go through the map" on Sunday, 9 October 2022, it was still a day of racing at Sha Tin that will be remembered for a long time.
Hong Kong`s champion Zac Purton rode seven of the ten winners at Sha Tin while Britain`s Harry Bentley incidentally piloted the other three winners.
Purton guided Yes We Can, Fiery Diamond, Sunny Baby, Beauty Eternal, Handsome Twelve, Man Star and Erimo to success, with his number of winners on a single card exceeded only by Joao Moreira`s eight wins from 11 races in March 2017. Anyone who follows racing in the former Crown Colony knows just how tough that is, as few other countries are as hot as this, especially as almost all races are handicaps.
It was the first time Purton had ridden seven winners at a meeting, with his horses taking £405,213 in prize money. The rider had had six winners in one day on four previous occasions and despite his successes, he felt his day could have gone even better.
"It was nice, all the horses went well. I had a couple that let me down a little bit, but you can`t be too picky - it was a good day," Purton said. "Seven wins is good.
He continued, "It`s nice to have the trainers and owners supporting me. I had some good horses today, but you still need the right factors, the track knowledge, the pace - all those things - in your favour and you need the horses to come along on the day. It`s not easy, but I think when it works out it`s a good feeling.
The Australian, who has been Hong Kong champion five times, is on course for his sixth title, while his old adversary Moreira will have to rest for three months because of a hip injury. Burton`s success overshadowed what would have been a particularly remarkable day for Harry Bentley, who rode his first triple to win the three races his colleague failed to claim, including the Grade 1 handicap on Majestic Star for trainer Danny Shum. "It`s good to get a couple of wins, it`s good for the confidence," Bentley explained.
The Racecourse Spy